Oklahoma City University News
Austrian Summer Academy Features OCU Voice Professor
Dr. Frank Ragsdale, professor of voice at Oklahoma City University’s Bass School of Music, will travel to Austria this summer for a return engagement on the faculty of the University of Miami Frost School of Music at Salzburg.
The five-week program, now in its 18th year, will be held July 10-August 13. Ragsdale is the academy’s coach of dramatic interpretation and stage presentation.
Ragsdale earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Miami, where he was voted outstanding graduate student before joining the voice faculty of the Bass School of Music in 2004. This year marks his ninth season teaching in Salzburg, renown as Mozart’s adopted hometown.
“I believe that teaching is the most important profession one can have,” Ragsdale said. “As a professor of voice, it is my main responsibility to teach my students how to become better singers and musicians. But it is my job as an educator to teach my students the process of learning.”
Ragsdale has performed opera, oratorio, musical theater, and solo recitals in the United States, Canada, Australia, Europe, South Africa, the Middle East, and Central America. For three consecutive years, he was invited by the U.S. Embassies of Costa Rica and Honduras to give recital tours and master classes with collaborative artist Thomas Enman.
He has performed in Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Cairo Opera House, Mechanics Hall, Cathedrale Notre Dame de Paris, San Marco di Venizia, and St. Martin-in-the-Fields. His operatic roles include Rodolfo from “La Bohome,” Alfredo from “La Traviata,” Don Ottavio from “Don Giovanni,” and Tamino from “Die Zauberflote.” He also has portrayed musical theater roles including Tony in “West Side Story,” Freddy in “My Fair Lady,” and Sam in “Street Scene.”
In addition to his performing experience, Ragsdale has directed opera, music theater, and theater productions. He taught at Thayer Conservatory, Columbia Union College, Plymouth State College, New World School of the Arts, and the University of Miami before making his home at Oklahoma City University. He is a member of The National Association of Teachers of Singing, College Music Society, and Pi Kappa Lambda.
In his teaching philosophy, Ragsdale notes: “Singing is an organic process and much of what a student must learn to do is let go and allow the voice to sing instead of trying to make it sing. I teach that the process is just as important as the performance. Singing is a life long pursuit that has no final destination, which if understood, adds to a life of joy and fulfillment for the both the student and the teacher.”